2018 marks the 35th anniversary of Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, & Country Music Studies at East Tennessee State University. To celebrate the occasion, the program is holding its first awards dinner this evening at the Millennium Center in Johnson City, TN. Program founder Jack Tottle and longtime supporter Tim White will be the recipients of special awards for their contributions to the program throughout its history.
Over 150 attendees are expected at the event, including ETSU president Dr. Brian Noland, Tennessee Congressman Phil Roe, and a number of well-known bluegrass and other roots musicians. Among the artists who will be in attendance are program alumni Becky Buller, Tim Stafford, and Adam Steffey.
Several musical performances will take place throughout the evening. Tottle, who, in addition to his work as a music educator is also a respected mandolin player, will perform with a group of ETSU students. White, a well-known media personality and banjo player, will perform with his band Troublesome Hollow. In addition to bluegrass, the other three genres served by the program – Celtic, old time, and country – will also be featured throughout the evening.
The awards ceremony will take place in conjunction with the annual awarding of several scholarships to students within the program. White has been a key booster of program scholarships throughout the years, particularly through his work with the Appalachian Cultural Music Association, which funds several of the scholarships.
For the past several years, the Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, & Country Music Studies program has ended the school year with a student performance at the Paramount Theatre in Bristol, TN that has also featured prominent bluegrass personalities, often with a connection to the program. The awards ceremony will take its place this year. While that has always been an entertaining event, kudos to those involved for finding a way to recognize the many folks who have contributed to the program’s success over the years!
For more information on ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, & Country Music Studies, visit them online.